Chief of F-35 Jet Program Rebukes Main Contractors

February 27, 2013

The general in charge of building the new F-35 fighter jet sharply criticized the main contractors on Wednesday, saying that Lockheed Martin and the engine maker, Pratt & Whitney, were trying to “squeeze every nickel” out of the program. 
The comments, by Lt. Gen. Christopher Bogdan, echoed a pointed critique he made last September, when he suggested that a poor relationship between Lockheed and the government threatened the program.

General Bogdan also seemed frustrated by the grounding last week of all 64 of the high-tech planes after an inspection found a crack in the turbine blade of one of the engines made by Pratt & Whitney.

Loren B. Thompson, a consultant to Lockheed, said Wednesday that the problem might have been caused by a bad casting when that blade was made rather than a design flaw that might affect all the planes.

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